“ You can only really understand farm work through hands-on experience.”
This was Erika Hubatschek’s motto during her long stays with the mountain farmers of Tyrol. Hands-on experience meant working alongside the farmers – spreading manure on the fields, bringing in the hay, milking cows or weeding flax – and she always had her notebook and camera to hand. The end product of this total immersion and inside experience was twelve thousand black-and-white negatives and the books published by “Edition Hubatschek” – today a valuable cultural document of a time past.
Throughout her life, Erika Hubatschek was passionately interested in the mountain farmers and their lives and work. She was a tough practitioner as well as a theoretician, and joined in the daily work in the numerous alpine farms she visited. With her camera she captured this in-depth experience of farm life over a period of over 60 years. She knew the world of Alpine farming like no other.
In 1988, at the age of 71, Erika Hubatschek founded the publishing house Dr Hubatschek, which she managed until her death in 2010. From 1991 on, her daughter Irmtraud worked closely together with her, jointly planning exhibitions and building up the extensive photo archive. In 2010 Irmtraud Hubatschek took over the publishing house and runs it today under the name Edition Hubatschek.
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Erika Hubatschek began taking photographs in 1938 – and she kept her Leica in her hand until the end of the 1990s: a time span of over 60 years! During this time she produced 14,000 black-and-white negatives, 2,500 colour slides and several hundred colour prints. These have all been archived, and some of them already digitalized.